Advertisers and magazines are fond of telling people that this is the season of engagements. Apparently nothing gets people more in the mood to pop the question than hordes of pushy shoppers, angry in-laws and too much eggnog. Companies like Kay Jewelers will have you believe that there’s nothing she wants more than to pull a tiny little package from under the tree and open it to find a sparkling diamond—or better yet, be presented with this shiny gemstone ring in front of family and friends right before the turkey is plopped on the table.
Speaking only for myself, wouldn’t it mean so much more if the process of popping that all-important question were saved for a more personal—say, private—locale?
To be honest, however, my husband proposed to me in a rather public place and it’s still one of the most romantic gestures he’s ever performed. While living in Paris, we would visit the Medici Fountain in the Luxembourg Gardens as often as we could—it required an hour-and-a-half walk across the city, but the trek was worth it. We would sit in the shadow of the imposing bronze sculpture of the giant Polyphemus discovering the lovers Acid and Galatea in marble below for hours on end, but on one particular day—our anniversary, in fact—we were lingering longer than usual. Despite my pleas of cold and hunger and the darkening hour, my soon-to-be husband stayed put until we were finally alone beneath the canopy of greenery. In dulcet tones and with one of the most unique engagement presents I’ve ever seen (more on that in a future blog), he asked me to marry him.
It’s a good thing we were alone, too—because I promptly started weeping. That’s something they don’t show nearly enough in those rhymes-with-sappy jewelry commercials—the overwhelming joy, surprise and thrilling fear more often than not can cause tears of the blubbering, not bashful, variety.
So ladies and gents, if you’re preparing to drop to bended knee this holiday season, one plea from me to all those well-intentioned would-be fiancé/es: make sure you and your beloved have some space all to yourselves, then ask away. And if you’re feeling particularly festive and forward, why not bring your own portable mistletoe (find it at Urban Outfitters here) in case the urge strikes when you’re out and about? After all, not every kiss begins with Kay.